Can California Democrats “Go Where the Facts Lead”?

David Kersten
David Kersten is president of the Kersten Institute for Governance and Public Policy (www.kersteninstitute.org). Kersten is also an adjunct professor of public finance and economics at the University of San Francisco.

The dust is still settling after the much awaiting appearance of former Special Council Robert Mueller before the U.S. Congress, but most major media outlets and commentators agree that the Mueller testimony fell flat, and perhaps raised more questions about the Russia investigation than it answered.  

A key question continues to be raised regarding the credibility of California Democrats as well as their policy agenda in California and elsewhere:  Can California Democrats really afford to “go where the facts lead”?

This line about “going where the facts lead” has been echoed by high-profile California Democrat politicians such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D), Senator and Democrat Presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D), and Congressman Adam Schiff (D).  

This rhetorical line is similar to the often used line “nobody is above the law” which often refers to President Donald J. Trump and how he allegedly broke the law by “colluding” with the Russians and then “obstructed justice” in the process of covering up.  

But the reality is that both of these rhetorical lines only serve to cover up and distract from the actual facts of the case by trying to prop up a collapsing “Russia narrative” that California Democrats, as well as Democrats nationwide, continue to cling too.  

To be fair, Speaker Pelosi is one of the few high-profile California Democrats not calling for impeachment, and perhaps the only one that matters, but still continues to use the “Russia narrative” to suggest that President Trump committed a crime and engaged in a Watergate-type “cover up.”    

Anyone who has really paid attention to the actual facts of this case, and the ensuing debate since the release of the Mueller Report more than three months ago, knows that the “Russia narrative” is a completely fictional rendering of the so-called “facts” that is meant to damage the political standing of President Donald J. Trump.  

Unfortunately, for California Democrats this strategy is clearly not working as demonstrated by recent public opinion polling which shows President Trump’s approval ratings continuing to climb to over 50%, the highest of his presidency and higher than President Obama at this point in his tenure.  

But the Democrats failure to acknowledge the true nature of the “Russia witch hunt” and gain traction on this issue is essentially the “canary in the coal mine” for a far deeper and more significant deficiency that reaches to the very foundation of their public policy agenda and plan for the future of this country.  

In short, they do not have an answer to President Trump’s glowing success on growing the national economy through the enactment of a package of successful pro-growth policies that include deregulation and reduced taxes, among other policies.

The Democrats only answer is deflection and distraction, and that is why they continue to cling to the phony “Russia narrative” despite the fact that more than 50% and growing of voters are not buying it, even a significant growing contingent of Democrat voters, according to new polling.  

The attempted sale of this phony narrative to the American people also does significant damage to Democrats credibility on their entire public policy agenda by clearly demonstrating that they are not being truly honest with the facts.  

One form of deflection that we continue to hear from Speaker Pelosi, Senator Harris and California Governor Gavin Newsom, is that this economy is only working for the rich, but not anyone else.  And that a long-list of “socialist” policies is needed to make the economy, both inside and outside of California, more “fair.”  

But this is also not a true representation of the actual facts.  Perhaps most importantly, real wages are growing under President Trump and there is significant evidence that low-wage workers are benefiting significantly from President Trump’s pro-growth agenda.  

But don’t take my word for it, let us take a quick look at some of the actual facts and evidence.  

In June, total nonfarm payroll employment in June rose by 224,000 jobs, far exceeding market expectations.  “With July marking the longest economic expansion on record, it is a testament to the strength of the Administration’s economic policies that the economy continues to generate monthly job gains of this magnitude,” according to a July 5, 2019 statement issued by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA).    

“Including revisions for the months of April and May, the average pace of job growth has been a vigorous 192,000 jobs per month over the past year,” states the CEA report. 

Nominal average hourly earnings rose by 3.1% over the past 12 months, more than double the 1.5% inflation rate, marking the 11th straight month that year-over-year wage gains were at or above 3 percent.  Prior to 2018, nominal average hourly wage gains had not reached 3 percent since April 2009, states the CEA report.  

A June 21, 2019 report published in Forbes Magazine by former California lawmaker Chuck DeVore, who relocated from California to Texas, suggests that “low-tax states” are adding jobs at double the pace of “high-tax states” since the Trump Tax Cut.  

“Since President Trump signed the big tax cut and reform act in December 2017, the pace of private-sector job creation in the nation’s 27 low-tax states has doubled that of their high-tax peers through May of 2019,” according to data recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and stated in DeVore’s Forbes report.  

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